Equal Chance for Education celebrates student scholars


Equal Chance for Education (ECE), an organization that provides scholarships for undocumented students, held a banquet Jan. 20 at Cumberland University’s Baird Chapel to celebrate graduates’ successes and current students’ academic accomplishments, as well as hear from representatives from a national organization on upcoming immigration initiatives.

The founder of ECE, Dr. Michael Spalding, also is a member of CU’s board of trust. His vision was to create opportunities for students regardless of race, religion, or nation of birth, who otherwise would not have the opportunity for higher education because of their legal status. In the competitive scholarship award process, students must have and maintain an excellent academic record, demonstrate financial need, and have a definite career goal. Currently, there are 91 ECE scholars between Cumberland University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Fisk University. Of the 91 student scholars, 23 attend CU.

“Cumberland is constantly seeking students who excel academically. The students who are being recognized today clearly are high achieving scholars. They have great potential to become professionals who will be assets in their communities,” said Paul Stumb, president of Cumberland University.

Martin Penny and Chuck Corra from FWD.US, a national tech community sponsored by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg that mobilizes in support of policies that keep the American Dream achievable in the 21st century, made a presentation on policy and actionable items. Spalding presented awards to students who have achieved a 4.0-grade point average and Molly Haynes, ECE’s executive director along with ECE board members, recognized four students who either recently graduated or who will be graduating in May. The students spoke about their experience with ECE and their plans post-graduation.

Cumberland University has one of the longest, richest histories of any higher education institution in the state. Founded in 1842, the University flourishes today with exceptional faculty and fully-accredited academic programs steeped in the liberal arts, including three distinct schools: the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions; the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts; and the Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business. With a student body approaching 2,000, 25 percent of whom live on campus, our unique residential living and learning experience allows students to find their sense of belonging. Athletics also are a strength of Cumberland University, as its teams in 20 sports regularly compete for conference and national championships. Its world-renowned baseball team has claimed the NAIA national championship title three times since 2004. At Cumberland University you can Learn What’s Possible!

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